Five bracket-winning tips from a mathematician


On Sunday evening, this year’s March Madness bracket will be announced. And, wouldn’t it be nice to actually win this year?

Well, Timothy Chartier, PhD, a professor of mathematics and computer science at Davidson College who specializes in sports analytics came up with a handful of tips that should give you an edge.

1. Ignore a team's record – Instead of just looking at how many games a team has won, focus on how well they played on the road and against good teams.

2. Timing is everything – Teams that are hot leading up to the tournament tend to keep doing well.

3. Find the Cinderellas – Cinderellas are more likely to be teams that create turnovers, give up very few three-pointers, and take a high percentage of three-pointers.

4. Don't let your emotions ruin it – If you let hatred for a team dictate your bracket, it's going to hurt you more than them. For the sake of the money, just focus on the math.

5. At the end of the day, data can only take you so far. "The reason it's called madness is because there's a lot of randomness," Chartier says. Data will help you to quantify a team's skill level, but can't account for a player's girlfriend breaking up with them or a bad case of the stomach flu.

(source: Popular Mechanics)

Math for your pool

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